Cornelius Cardew

(1936—1981) composer

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(b Winchcombe, Glos., 1936; d London, 1981).

Eng. composer and guitarist. Chorister, Canterbury Cath. 1943–50. Prof. of comp. RAM, from 1967. His early pf. works are in the style of early Boulez and Stockhausen, but later comps. follow a Cage‐like indeterminacy, e.g. Treatise (1963–7), a graphic score of nearly 200 pages containing no instructions to the performer. Became radical Maoist and revolutionary Communist. Formed Scratch Orch. 1969. Works incl. Str. Trio (1957); 2 Books of Study for Pianists (1958); Octet '61 (1961) for unspecified instr.; 3 Winter Potatoes (1965), pf.; The Great Learning (parts 1–7, 1968–70), various perf.; The East is Red, vn., pf. (1972); Piano Album, pf. (1973); The Old and the New, sop., ch., orch. (1973); Thälmann Variations, pf. (1974); Vietnam Sonata, pf. (1976).

Subjects: Music.

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